Strategic support centre backs up short-staffed stations that remain operational

Five of 19 maritime rescue coordination centres (MRCC), including Belfast and Brixham, are non-operational today as Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union members stage a one-day strike over pay.

The Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme is being monitored by French Coastguard for the day and a strategic support centre based in Highcliffe, Dorset is backing up the operational MRCC’s – many of which are under-manned.

A spokesman for the MCA said there have been no incidents so far.

The strike follows protests about what staff say is “poverty pay”, while managers say they are bound by public sector pay constraints.

Search for MOB off Blyth called off
Tuesday 4 March: Humber Coastguard spent nearly five hours searching for a 27-year-old Phillipino fisherman, who went overboard about two miles offshore at about 1650 in moderate sea conditions. He was not wearing a lifejacket.

A Humber coastguard spokesman told the BBC: “Because the Mayday came quickly from the fishing vessel we had quite a specific area and it was a well saturated search.

“When we called off the search we were confident that if there was anything to find we would have found it.

“We are confident that the crewman would no longer be alive.”